Some 38 Municipalities around the country are being investigated by the Special Investigations Unit for fraud and corruption, Local Government Minister Sicelo Shiceka said on Tuesday 14 December 2010.

A huge number of officials had already been arrested – including Municipal Managers – and some had been dismissed, Shiceka told journalists in Pretoria.

North West topped the list, with all of its 25 Municipalities being investigated, followed by six in the Eastern Cape, five in Mpumalanga and two in Gauteng.

Other Municipalities, such as KwaZulu-Natal’s Msunduzi Municipality, had been taken over and put under provincial government control in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution.

Shiceka had harsh words for corrupt Municipal officials, saying they betrayed the trust given to them.

“We are clearing the system,” he said. “There is no forest to hide.”

IMATU is in full support of any effort to permanently eradicate criminal activity from Municipalities.

“We are pleased that the message is finally driven home” was Johan Koen, General Secretary of IMATU’s reaction.